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Über dieses Buch

Windows 8 has been described by Microsoft as its ‘boldest’ Windows release ever and the 8.1 update enhances the paradigm further. Beginning Windows 8.1 takes you through the new features and helps you get more out of the familiar to reveal the fullest possibilities for this amazing new operating system.

You will learn, with non-technical language used throughout, how to get up and running in the new Windows interface, minimize downtime, maximize productivity, and harness the features you never knew existed to take control of your computer and enjoy the peace of mind and excitement that comes with it.

From tips and tweaks to easy-to-follow guides and detailed descriptions, this book takes you inside Windows 8.1 to discover the true power and flexibility that lies within, and guides you at your own pace through getting the very best from it.



Chapter 1. Introducing Windows 8.1

When Microsoft first began talking about “the next version of Windows” in January 2011, it used words such as “bold” and “risky” to describe both it and the venture that the company was undertaking. Microsoft was already some years behind the competition in the ever-expanding consumer tablet market and it needed desperately to catch up.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 2. Finding Your Way Around Windows 8.1

The first thing that you notice when you use Windows 8.1 for the first time is the new interface. It is very much unlike anything that we’ve ever seen on the desktop, and on initial inspection, it seems very focused on tablet devices.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 3. Getting Connected

Windows 8.1 is the best-connected version of the Windows operating system (OS) yet. It includes support for new wireless standards such as 4G mobile broadband. With this added flexibility, however, come some pitfalls. Getting online and connecting to networks is now far more than turning on a connection and entering a password.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 4. Sharing with Family and Friends

Windows 7 introduced the concept of HomeGroup, enabling us to share our files, music, photos, and video easily within small networks. Windows 8.1 is taking sharing to the next level with built-in sharing for apps of all descriptions.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 5. Organizing and Searching Your Computer

Our computing devices—be they desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, or new ultrabooks—are all about content. We either make it or consume it, but we all have ever-growing quantities of it. You may store it on a network share, in the cloud, on an external hard disk, or on the computer’s hard disk or solid-state drive (SSD)—but there will probably be a lot of it wherever it is stored.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 6. Printing and Managing Printers

In these days of external hard drives, flash drives, TV tuners, graphics tablets, HD webcams, cordless headphones, and more, it is always a printer that is commonly the first and most important peripheral that we purchase for our computers.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 7. Having Fun with Games, Photos, Music, and Video

Despite the business origins of the PC, Windows has always been a gaming platform. Despite predictions on the death of PC gaming in favor of consoles, Windows 8.1 brings some new features to the mix that put gaming front and center of the PC for the first time.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 8. Maximizing Your Productivity

Windows was born into the business space. It was the original IBM PC, equipped with software such as Lotus 123 or WordPerfect, that was the powerhouse of the “modern” office in the 1980s. The introduction of the Windows user interface and the Microsoft Office suite solidified the PC’s position as the productivity tool of choice. It was the flexibility of PCs that eventually brought them into homes, and now we take it for granted that we’ll have access to our own PC at work. Many people expect to be provided a laptop—and a smartphone as well—and others have begun using their personal PCs, tablets, and smartphones at work.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 9. Personalizing Your Windows Experience

Windows has always been one of the most customizable operating systems available, which is one of the things that has made it so popular over the years. Indeed, a whole industry of third-party products is well established with companies providing ever more imaginative ways for you to personalize your copy of Windows.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 10. Making Windows 8.1 More Accessible and Easier to Use

User accessibility is one of the biggest challenges facing companies that make computers, operating systems, and software. Accessibility is particularly important for touch-controlled systems, which improve computer use for people who have difficulty using a keyboard and mouse.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 11. Keeping You, Your Files, and Your Computer Safe

Despite Windows’ history of being very insecure and a hotbed for malware and viruses, this really isn’t true any more. It’s also not true that the security systems in Windows 8.1 are annoying, or lacking in flexibility, or difficult to use.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 12. Maintaining and Backing Up Your Computer and Files

Once you are using your new Windows 8.1 computer, the most important consideration is keeping it running smoothly to avoid downtime. Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, problems arise. If they do, visit my web site ( ), which has articles and videos to help you through problems.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 13. Advanced Configuration and Customization

Windows has always been renowned for being a very configurable operating system (OS). Despite the new look, Windows 8.1 offers an immense number of ways to customize the OS, tweaked from within the OS itself and with third-party software.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 14. Getting Started with Virtualization

Each new release of Windows, whether major or minor, brings not just new features and new ways of working, but also fresh challenges. One of those challenges is maintaining compatibility with the older software that we’ve used for years and that are as comfortable as an old shoe.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 15. Installing Windows 8.1 on Your Computer

Whether you get your copy of Windows 8.1 with a shiny new PC, off the shelf from your local store, or on a software subscription package from Microsoft, you have to install it at some point—either to replace an earlier version of Windows on your computer or when something goes wrong.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 16. Windows 8 Touch Gestures

For many people, touch will be new to their Windows experience. In many ways, such as with tapping and double-tapping, touch operates in the same way you would expect a mouse click to work. Table A-1 contains a complete list of the touch gestures you can use with Windows 8. Those who already have been using touch will be pleased to hear that the gestures haven’t changed. Some new gestures have been added, though, and those are included in the table.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 17. Windows 8 Shortcut Keys

Table B-1. Keys with No Modifier
Mike Halsey

Chapter 18. Advanced Query Syntax for Search

In addition to the search methods that I detailed in Chapter 5, there is a large volume of Advanced Query Syntax options that you can use when searching (especially for files) in Windows 8. These options are available both at the Start screen and in File Explorer.
Mike Halsey

Chapter 19. Upgrading Your Computer

A PC isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for life. You’ll want to make sure that your computer lasts for as long as possible because, let’s be honest, these things are expensive and you can’t afford to be buying a new one before the current machine is out of its warranty period.
Mike Halsey


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